Fight like you love each other.
Yesterday was hard. The night of the election, impossibly frightening.
We grieved because for the first time in our history we have elected a president who faces criminal charges of child rape, has had accusations of assault in the double-digits, failed financially multiple times, declared religious freedom a security risk, promised to remove the rights of citizens for who they love, and will possess nuclear codes when his own aides won’t let him use Twitter. We mourned for our country because we believed we had been making progress towards making America great. The things we cherished most about our country are being threatened — and we can’t see this as anything but a surreal mistake.
Today Is Better
Today, I have a remarkable hope be cause we’ll always have each other.
Yesterday, every manager and supervisor I’ve had at work stopped to ask me how I was doing and told me that if I needed anything, to only ask. They said if I needed to leave work early, I could. We talked about how no matter what happened, the benefits and protections offered at work wouldn’t be affected. My company doesn’t need the government to tell them who deserves basic human rights.
My coworkers and I hugged. I cried in the stall of a bathroom, and a coworker came in and guessed it was me. I ran out and we sobbed together against the counter of the sink. Another coworker came in and told us that she loved us and would do whatever was needed to help. A coworker I didn’t know saw us and told us that she felt the way we looked and hugged us.
When I opened my laptop, in my email, Facebook messages, and Twitter messages were endless notes and letters that I wasn’t alone. That my closest friends and most distant acquaintances were proud of me and what I’ve done. They said that they were with me till the end and apologized for their relatives, friends, and coworkers who couldn’t see my basic humanity. They were sorry they hadn’t spoken harder and fought against the passive bigotry that exploded into a president elect. They apologized for their cowardice.
As I told friends in comments, threads, and strings of conversation that I was going to look into legal ways of protecting myself, I also explained that our trans friends would have to look into things like name changes and other legal precautions, too. Many of us heavily targeted by the promises of Trump will have to look into myriad ways of protecting ourselves as if the past 8 years had never existed by Jan. 20, 2017 or go unprepared for what may come.
Then the flood came: messages and comments of volunteered legal representation.
“If I put together an index website of resources for people affected by the election, will you help me,” I asked Twitter nonchalantly. I’ve asked the internet before for help, and while people here and there may donate money, this was different. People were offering their time, skills, and even that of their employers to get this up and running.
A coworker approached me later in the day and asked, “Are there LGBTQ organizations besides HRC you’d recommend?” Enthusiastically I nodded and told them about Hetrick-Martin and how they fed me and, honestly, I’m not sure I’d be alive if it wasn’t for them. They donated money right then.
Money and materials are things we have enough of to sustain ourselves, but today we’re concerned about the ability to live. We are afraid for our loved ones and the urgency has transformed our distant vision of a better future into a close-up of the community before us.
The amount of developers, illustrators, designers, writers, and people without tech skills have reached out to me to help is overwhelming. We’ll need researchers to help vet and find resources for us. We’ll need lawyers and government employees who understand the ins and outs of the system to help figure out exactly how to protect ourselves. We’ll need everyone to make sure those they love are aware of the resources and options they have to weather the worst of tomorrow.
The truth is regardless of who the president is, we always faced this danger. It was your racist uncle you avoid talking to at Thanksgiving. It was the coworker who keeps calling Lakeisha other names like Lake-sure or Lakey-what that you didn’t call out. These are the voters who put Trump into office sure, but they’re also the mortgage lenders who redline us, the police officers who kill children like Tamir Rice, the drunks who hospitalize transwomen, teachers who fail and discipline children destroying their future, and the retail associate who profiles someone into an unnecessary arrest, and that cannot be our community.
For the first time in my life, I believe that people see this now. I’m sorry they didn’t see it sooner, but I’m glad they see it now. I’ve always asked people to fight together, but now more than ever, I’m asking for you to fight for our community.
We must fight as if we love each other.
There’s a difference between falling on your ass and falling on your knees. We can fall on our asses together as we try to right things.
We Got This Index
If you can help out with my resources index (which will be like a really nice organized list below but address many more issues and localities) or want to list yourself as a resource, please visit this:
We Got This Index Resources / Suggestions
Drop your links to different organizations and resources that can help people protect themselves through the next 4 years!
The largest national LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. Providing free legal services and policy advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ
The True Colors Fund works to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.
Helps LGBTQ youth with housing, counseling, food, and legal representation
National Center for Transequality
NCTE works toward acceptance and equal treatment for transgender people.
Center for Constitutional Rights
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The nation’s oldest and largest legal organization working for the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV/AIDS.
Please comment or message me here or on Twitter with other resources that help alleviate the actions of Trump.